Category Archives: Official Google Blog

Insights from Googlers into our topics, technology, and the Google culture

Newsmakers: Fact-checking in Australia with Holly Nott

From claims about government spending to activists interfering with cattle trucks, the Australian Associated Press, or AAP for short, fact-checks all types of stories. As Australia’s national news agency, AAP generates stories and images for an expanding group of Australian publishers. They also work with a network of partner agencies to provide comprehensive global news, complemented by the work of its own staff in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Managing Editor Holly Nott is central to planning and executing coverage of major events, including the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. Late last year, with state-level and national elections on the horizon, Holly and her team sought to bring fact checking to the AAP landscape, with the support of Google News Initiative. That work later allowed AAP’s fact-checking to become a permanent part of the Australian media landscape.

In the latest Newsmakers interview, Holly shares her story about how she became a journalist and how her team works to verify stories, share lessons for the industry and collaborate with Australian newsrooms.  

How did you first get started in journalism? 

My older brother was the first person in our family to go to college, and he forged the path into journalism that I ended up following. During high school, I spent two weeks at one of the newspapers where he'd worked, and I absolutely loved it. As a kid from a country town that was barely on the map, I saw journalism as the gateway to a big, exciting, interesting life. My mother founded and edited our little community newspaper, so she had already shown me the positive impact journalism could have. It was a natural progression for me to finish school, complete a journalism degree and then get my first job at a regional daily newspaper. 

Break this down for the non-experts: How does your team go about fact-checking a claim?

The AAP FactCheck team begins each day by scouring traditional and social media looking for claims that don't ring true. For traditional media we have a strict set of criteria to meet when it comes to claim selection. We only check claims made in direct speech attributed to influential people. For social media content, we are looking for any questionable subject matter that is relevant to our Australian audience, but there must be a benefit for them in proving it to be correct or incorrect. We assess what elements of the claim need to be verified, brainstorm the sources we can use and then begin the research. Once we have the information, we write an evidence-led draft and suggest a verdict. The team discusses the verdict and it is either endorsed or revisited before the copy is sub-edited and published.

AAP began fact-checking ahead of an election. How is fact-checking different during an election cycle?

During the election period, we needed to be as responsive to the news cycle as possible if we wanted to be relevant. We had a one-day turn-around time for our fact-checks - which set us apart from other fact-checking models at that time. Several months down the line, the new government has settled in and we have dialed back the pace of our fact-checking so we can  expand our scope into social media content.

What distinguishes fact-checking as a form of reporting from traditional reporting?

The demands of the news cycle mean there often isn't time for us to take a deep dive into an issue unless it is at the top of our list of priorities. Fact-checking gives us permission to do just that. We often have to get right into the minutiae of an issue, and then dig around in that space for a while. When we are writing, we just go where the evidence leads us and we only produce content based on the facts. It is a very pure form of journalism.

How does the AAP balance new technology with journalistic standards? 

Our company is great at change and our structure helps us get new ideas up and running quickly - but all innovation should strengthen our commitment to the fundamental principles of journalism. For example, we believe in accuracy and balance, and AAP FactCheck allows us to reinforce that message in a new way. We also believe journalism can be an incredibly positive force. To explore this idea, a senior staff member has started a five-month study of the emerging concept of constructive journalism, which emphasizes solution-focused news. AAP Deputy Editor Joanne Williamson is currently a fellow at the Constructive Institute in Denmark, working to understand how we can counter the negativity bias and reactive nature of much news reporting and help our clients re-engage with their audiences in a more positive way.

See art from the vaults of La Isla del Encanto

Editor’s note: In this guest post, we’ll hear from Carlos R. Ruiz Cortés, Executive Director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP).

Art can capture both the idiosyncrasies and the national identity of a people. With more than 40,000 artifacts in our National Collection, the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña's mission is to share Puerto Rican culture in its diversity and complexity. Since the closing of our national gallery in 2013, these works have been shared through limited museum loans, institutional exhibitions, educational tours and academic research--but they have lacked a permanent space.

Today, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda Jr., we’re launching the first phase of a project which will bring these works out from behind closed doors. You can now zoom in on the intimate dinner scene of “La Mixta,” and see how the brushwork of Cervoni Brenes Francisco brings to life the workers’ day-to-day, or travel through the 18th-century streets depicted by José Campeche y Jordán in his painting “El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustariz.”

We’ve also used Google Arts & Culture’s Art Camera to digitize iconic works from our archives in hyper-detailed resolution. This will allow everyone to explore the images down to brush stroke level and will help us to preserve the works in their current form for future generations.

It has also given our team new insight into the stories these works tell. In “El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustariz,” we were able to see José Campeche y Jordán’s miniature style in great detail, illuminating an interaction in the background of women appealing to men of a higher class. For the first time, we found the signature of Consuelo Peralta de Riego Pica on her painting “Visión de San Felipe Benicio,” granting us a better understanding of this pioneering female artist.

Art Camera in the ICP

The Art Camera at work, digitizing “El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustariz.”

Hurricane Maria reminded us of the urgency of preservation. It devastated our island and awakened the need to preserve our culture while we restored our home. For us, the Art Camera is more than a piece of technology—it's a symbol of universal access. The technology will make Puerto Rico's art accessible to  millions of people who otherwise wouldn't be able to see it. Looking through the lens of Art Camera as it captures Ramón Frade’s “El Pan Nuestro,” I think of how everybody will now have a new lens through which to see Puerto Rico.

Today, the collection is available through Google Arts & Culture to view online at g.co/puertoricanculture for everyone across the world. There, you can find more work online from the Pre-Raphaelite works of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, the range of modern artists at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, and the plurality of art displayed at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

I hope you will visit and see firsthand how our cultural heritage inspires people today, creativity sparking on every corner of San Juan and beyond. It is with joy that we offer this cultural patrimony back to the people of Puerto Rico and celebrate our culture with the world.

See art from the vaults of La Isla del Encanto

Editor’s note: In this guest post, we’ll hear from Carlos R. Ruiz Cortés, Executive Director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP).

Art can capture both the idiosyncrasies and the national identity of a people. With more than 40,000 artifacts in our National Collection, the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña's mission is to share Puerto Rican culture in its diversity and complexity. Since the closing of our national gallery in 2013, these works have been shared through limited museum loans, institutional exhibitions, educational tours and academic research--but they have lacked a permanent space.

Today, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Miranda Jr., we’re launching the first phase of a project which will bring these works out from behind closed doors. You can now zoom in on the intimate dinner scene of “La Mixta,” and see how the brushwork of Cervoni Brenes Francisco brings to life the workers’ day-to-day, or travel through the 18th-century streets depicted by José Campeche y Jordán in his painting “El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustariz.”

We’ve also used Google Arts & Culture’s Art Camera to digitize iconic works from our archives in hyper-detailed resolution. This will allow everyone to explore the images down to brush stroke level and will help us to preserve the works in their current form for future generations.

It has also given our team new insight into the stories these works tell. In “El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustariz,” we were able to see José Campeche y Jordán’s miniature style in great detail, illuminating an interaction in the background of women appealing to men of a higher class. For the first time, we found the signature of Consuelo Peralta de Riego Pica on her painting “Visión de San Felipe Benicio,” granting us a better understanding of this pioneering female artist.

Art Camera in the ICP

The Art Camera at work, digitizing “El Gobernador Don Miguel Antonio de Ustariz.”

Hurricane Maria reminded us of the urgency of preservation. It devastated our island and awakened the need to preserve our culture while we restored our home. For us, the Art Camera is more than a piece of technology—it's a symbol of universal access. The technology will make Puerto Rico's art accessible to  millions of people who otherwise wouldn't be able to see it. Looking through the lens of Art Camera as it captures Ramón Frade’s “El Pan Nuestro,” I think of how everybody will now have a new lens through which to see Puerto Rico.

Today, the collection is available through Google Arts & Culture to view online at g.co/puertoricanculture for everyone across the world. There, you can find more work online from the Pre-Raphaelite works of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, the range of modern artists at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, and the plurality of art displayed at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico

I hope you will visit and see firsthand how our cultural heritage inspires people today, creativity sparking on every corner of San Juan and beyond. It is with joy that we offer this cultural patrimony back to the people of Puerto Rico and celebrate our culture with the world.

Teachable Machine 2.0 makes AI easier for everyone

People are using AI to explore all kinds of ideas—identifying the roots of bad traffic in Los Angeles, improving recycling rates in Singapore, and even experimenting with dance. Getting started with your own machine learning projects might seem intimidating, but Teachable Machine is a web-based tool that makes it fast, easy, and accessible to everyone. 

The first version of Teachable Machine let anyone teach their computer to recognize images using a webcam. For a lot of people, it was their first time experiencing what it’s like to train their own machine learning model: teaching the computer how to recognize patterns in data (images, in this case) and assign new data to categories.

Since then, we’ve heard from lots of people who want to take their Teachable Machine models  one step further and use them in their own projects. Teachable Machine 2.0 lets you train your own machine learning model with the click of a button, no coding required, and export it to websites, apps, physical machines and more. Teachable Machine 2.0 can also recognize sounds and poses, like whether you're standing or sitting down. 

We collaborated with educators, artists, students and makers of all kinds to figure out how to make the tool useful for them. For example, education researcher Blakeley H. Payne and her teammates have been using Teachable Machine as part of open-source curriculum that teaches middle-schoolers about AI through a hands on learning experience. 

“Parents—especially of girls—often tell me their child is nervous to learn about AI because they have never coded before,” Blakeley said. “I love using Teachable Machine in the classroom because it empowers these students to be designers of technology without the fear of ‘I've never done this before.’”

But it’s not just for teaching. Steve Saling is an accessibility technology expert who used it to explore improve communication for people with impaired speech. Yining Shi has been using Teachable Machine with her students in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU to explore its potential for game design. And at Google, we’ve been using it make physical sorting machines easier for anyone to build. Here’s how it all works: 

Gather examples

You can use Teachable Machine to recognize images, sounds or poses. Upload your own image files, or capture them live with a mic or webcam. These examples stay on-device, never leaving your computer unless you choose to save your project to Google Drive.

Gather-small.gif

Gathering image examples.

Train your model

With the click of a button, Teachable Machine will train a model based on the examples you provided. All the training happens in your browser, so everything stays in your computer.

Training-small.gif

Training a model with the click of a button.

Test and tweak

Play with your model on the site to see how it performs. Not to your liking? Tweak the examples and see how it does.

Test-small.gif

Testing out the model instantly using a webcam.

Use your model

The model you created is powered by Tensorflow.js, an open-source library for machine learning from Google. You can export it to use in websites, apps, and more. You can also save your project to Google Drive so you can pick up where you left off.

Ready to dive in? Here’s some helpful links and inspiration:

Drop us a line with your thoughts and ideas, and post what you make, or follow along with #teachablemachine. We can’t wait to see what you create. Try it out atg.co/teachablemachine.

Teachable Machine 2.0 makes AI easier for everyone

People are using AI to explore all kinds of ideas—identifying the roots of bad traffic in Los Angeles, improving recycling rates in Singapore, and even experimenting with dance. Getting started with your own machine learning projects might seem intimidating, but Teachable Machine is a web-based tool that makes it fast, easy, and accessible to everyone. 

The first version of Teachable Machine let anyone teach their computer to recognize images using a webcam. For a lot of people, it was their first time experiencing what it’s like to train their own machine learning model: teaching the computer how to recognize patterns in data (images, in this case) and assign new data to categories.

Since then, we’ve heard from lots of people who want to take their Teachable Machine models  one step further and use them in their own projects. Teachable Machine 2.0 lets you train your own machine learning model with the click of a button, no coding required, and export it to websites, apps, physical machines and more. Teachable Machine 2.0 can also recognize sounds and poses, like whether you're standing or sitting down. 

We collaborated with educators, artists, students and makers of all kinds to figure out how to make the tool useful for them. For example, education researcher Blakeley H. Payne and her teammates have been using Teachable Machine as part of open-source curriculum that teaches middle-schoolers about AI through a hands on learning experience. 

“Parents—especially of girls—often tell me their child is nervous to learn about AI because they have never coded before,” Blakeley said. “I love using Teachable Machine in the classroom because it empowers these students to be designers of technology without the fear of ‘I've never done this before.’”

But it’s not just for teaching. Steve Saling is an accessibility technology expert who used it to explore improve communication for people with impaired speech. Yining Shi has been using Teachable Machine with her students in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU to explore its potential for game design. And at Google, we’ve been using it make physical sorting machines easier for anyone to build. Here’s how it all works: 

Gather examples

You can use Teachable Machine to recognize images, sounds or poses. Upload your own image files, or capture them live with a mic or webcam. These examples stay on-device, never leaving your computer unless you choose to save your project to Google Drive.

Gather-small.gif

Gathering image examples.

Train your model

With the click of a button, Teachable Machine will train a model based on the examples you provided. All the training happens in your browser, so everything stays in your computer.

Training-small.gif

Training a model with the click of a button.

Test and tweak

Play with your model on the site to see how it performs. Not to your liking? Tweak the examples and see how it does.

Test-small.gif

Testing out the model instantly using a webcam.

Use your model

The model you created is powered by Tensorflow.js, an open-source library for machine learning from Google. You can export it to use in websites, apps, and more. You can also save your project to Google Drive so you can pick up where you left off.

Ready to dive in? Here’s some helpful links and inspiration:

Drop us a line with your thoughts and ideas, and post what you make, or follow along with #teachablemachine. We can’t wait to see what you create. Try it out atg.co/teachablemachine.

Byteboard adds interviews for web and mobile engineers

We launched Byteboard inside Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, with a primary goal to fundamentally change tech hiring for the better. Byteboard is a full-service interviewing platform for software engineers, which uses project-based interviews to assess for skills that are actually used on the job, rather than the theoretical concepts tested for in traditional interviews.

Byteboard aims to help companies efficiently, accurately and fairly assess back-end engineering candidates. In the 14 months since our first pilot, Byteboard has interviewed over 2,000 candidates for clients like Lyft, Betterment and Quibi. By using our platform, our customers have seen their onsite-to-offer rates double and have saved hundreds of hours for recruiters and engineers.

In my role at Byteboard, I have had countless conversations with engineering managers across the tech industry about how expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone hiring engineers can be. Trying to hire a specialist--someone who has mastery in a technical subdomain--is even harder. If you ask a front-end engineer what they think about technical interviews, usually their experience is even worse than the average engineer, since traditional technical interviews over-emphasize skills that are often even less relevant for front-end work.

Today, Byteboard is launching interviews for mobile engineering and web development. These new interview types are still modeled after a day in the life of an engineer, but they give experienced Kotlin, Swift or HTML/CSS/JavaScript engineers an opportunity to dive deeper on some of the front-end skills that they’ve honed and accumulated over their careers. Front-end engineers prefer taking the Byteboard interview for the same reason generalists do: It more accurately represents the work they might actually do on the job.

In addition to the core software engineering skills that all Byteboard questions assess for, Byteboard front-end interviews also evaluate for additional domain-specific knowledge, such as a focus on accessibility or internet principles. This gives hiring managers a comprehensive view of a candidate’s software engineering skills, as well as their role-related knowledge.

Byteboard is on a mission to make technical interviews more effective, efficient, and equitable for all. Front-end engineers should not have to memorize theoretical concepts that they will never use on the job. Instead, they should have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in an authentic engineering environment that is reflective of their day-to-day work. Expanding our assessment methodology to front-end skill sets is another step towards making interviews better for everyone. 

To learn more about how Byteboard can help you improve your hiring processes, get in touch at byteboard.dev for more information.

Byteboard adds interviews for web and mobile engineers

We launched Byteboard inside Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, with a primary goal to fundamentally change tech hiring for the better. Byteboard is a full-service interviewing platform for software engineers, which uses project-based interviews to assess for skills that are actually used on the job, rather than the theoretical concepts tested for in traditional interviews.

Byteboard aims to help companies efficiently, accurately and fairly assess back-end engineering candidates. In the 14 months since our first pilot, Byteboard has interviewed over 2,000 candidates for clients like Lyft, Betterment and Quibi. By using our platform, our customers have seen their onsite-to-offer rates double and have saved hundreds of hours for recruiters and engineers.

In my role at Byteboard, I have had countless conversations with engineering managers across the tech industry about how expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone hiring engineers can be. Trying to hire a specialist--someone who has mastery in a technical subdomain--is even harder. If you ask a front-end engineer what they think about technical interviews, usually their experience is even worse than the average engineer, since traditional technical interviews over-emphasize skills that are often even less relevant for front-end work.

Today, Byteboard is launching interviews for mobile engineering and web development. These new interview types are still modeled after a day in the life of an engineer, but they give experienced Kotlin, Swift or HTML/CSS/JavaScript engineers an opportunity to dive deeper on some of the front-end skills that they’ve honed and accumulated over their careers. Front-end engineers prefer taking the Byteboard interview for the same reason generalists do: It more accurately represents the work they might actually do on the job.

In addition to the core software engineering skills that all Byteboard questions assess for, Byteboard front-end interviews also evaluate for additional domain-specific knowledge, such as a focus on accessibility or internet principles. This gives hiring managers a comprehensive view of a candidate’s software engineering skills, as well as their role-related knowledge.

Byteboard is on a mission to make technical interviews more effective, efficient, and equitable for all. Front-end engineers should not have to memorize theoretical concepts that they will never use on the job. Instead, they should have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in an authentic engineering environment that is reflective of their day-to-day work. Expanding our assessment methodology to front-end skill sets is another step towards making interviews better for everyone. 

To learn more about how Byteboard can help you improve your hiring processes, get in touch at byteboard.dev for more information.

Preserving stories of Black History in the UK and beyond

In 1981, African-American civil rights leader Queen Mother Moore visited the U.K. on a speaking tour that would have an enduring impact on Black British history. Coming in the wake of London’s Brixton uprisings, her teachings from the movement in the U.S. would go on to inspire the foundation of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA), a living monument to Black history and culture. 

To celebrate Black History Month in the UK this October, Google Arts & Culture partnered with the BCA to bring its unique collection of images, artifacts and artworks together online for the first time

Based in London’s Brixton neighborhood, the Black Cultural Archives is the only national heritage center dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. With this project, Google Arts & Culture has digitized over 4,000 items from the BCA to help inspire and educate. 

The collection features over 30 online stories, with highlights including the Black Women’s movement in the UK, the evolution of Black British dance and a collection of paintings and ceramics by Jamaican-born artist Rudi Patterson. Thanks to our Art Camera technology, you can now study the intricate details of newly digitized artworks in Gigapixel resolution.

This past summer, Google Arts & Culture also partnered with London’s Somerset House to digitize and share stories from its recent exhibition Get Up, Stand Up Now, which explored the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond. The partnership culminated in a new collaboration with Samm Henshaw, recognized by YouTube Music UK as a “One To Watch” emerging artist. Inspired by the generations of creative pioneers featured in the Somerset House exhibition, Samm wrote an original track honoring “the motherland” and invited visual artist Wumi Olaosebikan to contribute a creative response to his song through painting.
Samm Henshaw x Somerset House in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture

The theme of the motherland can also be found in another new exhibition on Google Arts & Culture. Everyone in the world can trace their origins back to East Africa, which is sometimes called the cradle of mankind. We’ve collaborated with the National Museums of Kenya in a new online collection that celebrates the heritage and stories of Kenya’s many communities.

This is Google Arts & Culture’s most ambitious project to date in Africa, and lets you explore Kenya across cultures, generations and geography through over 10,500 high resolution photographs, more than 100 expert-curated exhibits and 60 Street Views

To explore these remarkable stories in more detail, and to discover collections from more than 2,000 museums around the world, visit the Google Arts & Culture app for free either on the web or on iOS or Android.

Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in October

As fall arrived, we fell hard for news about machine learning, new trainings for those working on cloud technology, and some tips about secure passwords. Bundle up and read on for what was hot in cloud last month.

We celebrated National Cyber Security Awareness Month. 
Cyber attacks constantly evolve, and we build automatic protections into our products to keep people safe. That’s part of the puzzle, with another big piece being what you can do to keep your accounts protected. We introduced some best practices for password management, 2019 edition, to offer tips on developing good habits around passwords. Plus, we explored some best practices around two-factor authentication (2FA) when using Google Cloud. And finally, we made the new USB-C Titan Security Keys available for everyone in the U.S.

Students of cloud can explore new cloud 101 trainings.
New trainings came out in October, designed to tackle a few of the big questions that come up when businesses are first moving their applications and data into cloud services. One big decision is whether to use Google Compute Engine or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Compute Engine is more similar to how businesses have been operating their technology systems, while GKE is a newer type of technology. The trainings can help explain the hows and whys of using and setting up each of the options.

We explored tech accessibility for Disability Awareness Month.
Accessibility isn’t just about physical spaces—it also matters that apps, online content and digital tools are inclusive of all users. So during Disability Awareness Month, we explored some of the Chromebook’s accessibility features, like the Select-to-speak text reader, the ChromeVox built-in screen reader, dictation tools and more. G Suite also comes with built-in accessibility features that make it easy to add closed captioning to your presentations, use voice typing tools and more.

We heard a story about jobs and tech changing together.
Changes at work can be hard, but can also result in great things. Lots of our engineering teams follow a model, developed here, called Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). It’s a methodology that helps teams build services that are reliable for users and that take the human element of technology into account—so IT teams on call can work harmoniously without getting burned out. This story describes how the Google team in charge of the network moved to this model. It involved changing the roles of team members so they can now do fewer repetitive tasks and more of the work to solve bigger problems.

Machine learning gets better at seeing moving images.
At Google Cloud, customers use our AI Building Blocksto get started easily with machine learning without requiring AI expertise. Recent updates to our vision products offer even more ways get insights from images and video. Customers use AutoML Vision to create models that are specific to their domain, so that they can get important information from images. AutoML Vision Edge, which runs ML models for devices like sensors, now detects objects in addition to classifying images. Plus, a new feature in AutoML Video means models can be trained to track objects in videos—useful for things like traffic management or sports analytics. In addition, a new feature in the Video Intelligence API can detect, track and recognize logos of popular businesses and organizations.  

APIs took center stage.
APIs are interfaces that enable different software programs to communicate with one another—think of how you can sign in to one app on your phone with the login credentials from another. As you might imagine, these APIs are pretty important in our interconnected world, and there are quite a lot of them out there. API management, then, is its own important area of using modern technology—it’s how organizations secure, analyze, and expose APIs in ways that make it easy for developers to build on them. Google Cloud’s API management platform, Apigee, was once again recognized a leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Full Lifecycle API Management. This report is often used by our customers as a reliable evaluation tool. 

That’s a wrap for October. Keep up on cloud on our blog, and we’ll see you next month.

What’s new in Chrome OS: Virtual Desks, simpler printing and more

One of the best parts of Chromebooks is that every new version of Chrome OS brings dozens of improvements to keep your device safe, fast and hassle-free. The latest version of Chrome OS includes tools to help you organize your workspace, make phone calls more easily, and print and share feedback more quickly.

Organize your workspace with Virtual Desks

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the number of windows and tabs you have open? Organize your workspace and multitask more easily with Virtual Desks on Chromebook. 

Think of Virtual Desks as separate workspaces within your Chromebook. Use this feature to create helpful boundaries between projects or activities. If you’re working on multiple projects, you can dedicate a desk to each one. Or if you like to take a break during the workday, you could create a desk for web browsing or gaming. If you’re a student, you can create a different desk for each class. 

Once the latest Chrome OS update arrives on your device, open Overview and tap New Desk in the top right-hand corner of your screen to try out Virtual Desks. Try dragging windows between desks. 

Create Virtual Desk
Move windows between desks on Chromebook

You can also try out the following keyboard shortcuts to take full advantage of Virtual Desks:

  • Create a new Desk with “Shift” + “Search ” + “=”

  • Switch between Desks with “Search ” + “]” 

  • Move windows between Desks with “Shift” + “Search ” + “]”

Click-to-call

Chromebooks just got even better for people who use an Android phone. Now, you can right-click a phone number when browsing the web on your Chromebook and send the number to your mobile phone. 

To set-up this feature, sign into your Google account on your Chromebook and phone and ensure that you’ve turned on syncing for Chrome browser. Save time by getting on the phone quicker and work across devices more easily. 


Print without hassle

Now, compatible printers will automatically show up in your printer list—no setup needed. Press Ctrl + P on your keyboard, choose your printer, and you’re done. 

We've also reduced the number of steps needed to save printers to your profile.  If there’s a specific printer you use frequently, you can now save it as default. Just visit your Settings and head to the Printers section.


Printing improvements

Share feedback more easily

When members of the Chromebook community share thoughts on how to improve our software, our team reviews the suggestions to determine what we’ll build next. For example, a few months ago we implemented improvements to notification management based on comments from Chromebook owners. 


Now it’s even easier for you to quickly share feedback. Just press and hold your power button for a second, and alongside the “Lock” and “Power off” buttons, you will now see a dedicated button for feedback. 

Feedback button

Let us know if you have suggestions for Chrome OS so we can make your experience even better.